Some people like cooking and some people LOVE cooking. Me? I LOVE cooking. If I could choose one hobby that makes me happier than anything these days it would be acting as chef de cuisine in casa de La Sinning, I mean Walker, I mean Sinning :-D. My process goes a little something like this: Pour a glass of vino, pop on the Sam Smith and get to work…chop, chop, chop…dice, dice, dice…Mangia!!!
Sometimes Cory pitches in with the cooking, and other times he is left to do the dishes. Usually the latter, but during our early dating days we actually fell in love in the kitchen (At least we did in my eyes). We would pick a recipe, go to the store and whip up a three course meal. Back then we were young and healthy food was not on our radar. We tried our hands at chicken francese, penne a la vodka and even pasta fagiolle. We drank, laughed and even decided to order pizza when our meal did not turn out as planned. Which was not very often. We were a pretty good team.
Fast forward to our honeymoon in Italy. We had the opportunity to take a three hour private cooking class in Tuscany. It was an epic adventure that brought me right back to that house in Belmar NJ, where I first fell in love with my brothers roommate. He loved food as much as me…maybe even more than me, and over time we transitioned from young adults living in teeny-tiny apartments to full-blown adults with a real live house and heartburn. I have cooked for my hubby in every type of kitchen, and as I dive further into the world of health, food and fitness I wanted to develop a list of my MUST HAVE kitchen tools. DO NOT get overwhelmed, your cabinets do not need to look like Williams-Sonoma, but with some basic tools you will be able to whip together a gourmet, healthy meal in no time.
(Click the links below to see an example)
Pots and Pans: Yes, I am starting with the basics. Try an 8 quart stock pot, 3 quart stock pan, 2-3 quart stock pan and a 12 inch frying pan, all with covers.
Good Knives: I say good knives because even if you have a decent set of knives you can do a heck of a job! We have a great set that my little brother and his lady gave us for our bridal shower. Everytime I use them (which is every. single. day.) I think of them. In fact, its crazy, and maybe I am super sentimental, but whenever I use a gift that was given to Cory and I throughout our ‘special time’ I think about them with thanks and happiness.
Cutting Boards: Knives and cutting boards go hand in hand. Sometimes I do not want to whip out my largest cutting board. If I am cutting one thing I bring out one of my small boards and I am good to go.
Kitchen Utensil Holder and Set: I put this in one category because there are so many great sets out there. They must include: Spatula, Whisk, Wooden spoons (Slotted and Un-Slotted), Sauce Spoon and Soup Ladle.
Measuring Cups & Spoons: Cooking and especially baking is one part feeling, two parts chemistry. You do not need anything fancy or glass, but get a set instead of ‘eye-balling it’. That is until you get a little more comfy around le kitchen.
Glass Storage Containers: Screw PBA’s! I got a great set of glass tupperware-like storage containers last year from Bed Bath and Beyond. They are amazing! I can take them straight from the refrigerator, and pop them in the oven or microwave. They are relatively inexpensive and the tops stay on air-tight.
Salad Spinner: I do not know how I went so long without purchasing a salad spinner. I used to waste so many paper towels trying to get the moisture off my greens and vegetables. Don’t walk…RUN to your nearest store and pick up one today.
Nutribullet: I am a little upset it took me so long to get one. Not only do I make my morning green smoothie in it, but I make all kinds of sauces, dips and soups in it. I rarely take out my bulky blender that is so hard to clean anymore. I would suggest this appliance to anyone and everyone. Thanks for the suggestion mama!
Garlic Press: This is definitely a luxury gadget, but it brings so much flavor to your dishes. Trying to mince garlic is an absolute pain. This is my go-to for all salad dressings. Most of them require garlic, but who wants to chomp down on a huge chunk or garlic?
Vegetable Steamer: You want to preserve the integrity of your veggies. A steamer is the way to go. Do not allow your pot to boil over and steal away your nutrients. Bring them to a veggie spa of sorts.
Boil Over-Spill Stopper: My mother-in-law gave me this great gift! Since I am a spaz, and actually broke my mothers stove by leaving a pot boiling and overflowing on the stove, this is a handy-dandy item to have…especially if you have kiddies running around!
Well, that is it for my list of top ten kitchen items to whip healthy meals for years to come without breaking the bank. I would love to hear what your must-have kitchen item is!